Photography Gallery

Slapstick: Vintage Hollywood Cinema Photography

From the Collection of Robert Flynn Johnson

November 17 - December 30, 2012

Curated by Dieter Tremp

A selection of wonderful images of early movie stars and the humor and imagination that was used before “special effects” defined our movie experiences. Robert Flynn Johnson has had along and distinguished career in the arts including more then thirty years as the position of Curator in Charge of the Auchenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

Following his appreciation of the classic cinema, Johnson has developed his own extensive and diverse private collection of vintage cinema photography. This exhibition explores the theme of slapstick, a type of broad, physical comedy involving exaggerated, boisterous actions, farce, violence and activities which may which may exceed the boundaries of common sense. Slapstick was popular between 1918-1940 during the “Golden Era” of black and white silent movies featuring such notables as Charlie Chaplin,  Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers and many more. Johnson says, “The decision to organize this thematic focused exhibition out of my diverse and extensive collection of cinema photography was simple. In the aftermath of the contentious 2012 elections that had gone on for far too long this year, I felt that regardless of who won or lost, we all now need a good laugh.”